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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 8VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 8’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 80.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól
789

Oflǫskvan hǫfum œsku
aldr várn spanit sjaldan
— barkat blóm á verkum
bráðgǫrt — frá ódôðum,
ítr, þás opt á móti
ófríð risu blíðum,
mærðvinnandi manna,
mín verk boðum þínum.

Hǫfum sjaldan spanit várn oflǫskvan aldr œsku frá ódôðum — barkat bráðgǫrt blóm á verkum —, þás ófríð verk mín risu opt á móti þínum blíðum boðum, {ítr mærðvinnandi manna}.

We [I] have rarely enticed our [my] lazy age of youth away from misdeeds — I did not bear easily ripened fruit on account of my deeds —, when my ugly deeds often rose against your friendly commands, {glorious praise-winner of men} [= God].

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] hǫfum: ‘ho᷎f’ B    [2] sjaldan: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘sialld[...]’ B    [3] blóm: ‘bl[...]’ B, ‘blọma’(?) 399a‑bˣ, (blom)(?) BRydberg, blom BFJ    [8] verk boðum þínum: ‘v[...]odum[...]’ B, ‘vẹṛḳ boðum þịṇụṃ’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘væ(rk) (b)odum (þi)[...]’(?) BRydberg, ‘ve(rk) bodum þ(inum)’(?) BFJ

Editions: Skj AI, 563, Skj BI, 550, Skald I, 267; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 15, Kempff 1867, 3, Rydberg 1907, 21-2, Black 1971, 157, Attwood 1996a, 223.

Notes: [1] hǫfum ‘we [I] have’: B reads ‘ho᷎f’, Rydberg (1907, 21 n. 11) noting the possible presence of a nasal stroke over ‘f’, and Skj A presuming its existence. 399a-bˣ, followed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson and Kempff, interprets the sign as an accent. Skj A suggests reconstruction to hǫfum, which is adopted by Skald, Black and here. — [3-4] barkat bráðgǫrt blóm á verkum ‘I did not bear easily ripened fruit on account of [my] deeds’: Finnur Jónsson emends B’s á (l. 3) to af and translates jeg høstede ikke tidlig modnet frugt af mine gærninger ‘I did not harvest early ripened fruit from my deeds’ (Skj B), though he indicates his uncertainty with a question mark. Jón Helgason’s interpretation, jeg bar ikke tidlig blomst paa mine gerninger [det vil sige] mine ungdomsgerninger var ikke skønne ‘I did not bear early flower on account of my deeds [that is to say] the deeds of my youth were not pretty’ (1935-6, 254) may be the more correct. There appears to be no direct source for the expression, though it is possible that the parable of the trees and fruit in Matt. VII.16-20 may have influenced Gamli’s thought here.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  6. Black, Elizabeth L. 1971. ‘Harmsól: an edition’. B. Litt. thesis. University of Oxford.
  7. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Kempff, Hjalmar, ed. 1867. Kaniken Gamles ‘Harmsól’ (Sol i Sorgen): isländskt andligt qväde från medeltiden med öfversättning och förklaringar. Uppsala: Edquist & Berglund.
  9. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
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